At HSD, religious education is primarily taught within the context of teacher education. In Sweden, religious education is a compulsory non-denominational subject in primary, secondary, and upper-secondary schools. This form of RE enables students from all types of religious and non-religious backgrounds to participate together in the classroom learning experience. Central to teacher competence in religious education is the teacher’s ability to comprehend, handle, and then convey her/his understandings of religion-related phenomena to others. By providing teaching students with intellectual tools from diverse academic disciplines, along with epistemological and subject-specific knowledge, we prepare them to make informed choices in terms of both teaching and long-term planning. Our teacher-training program enables future teachers to develop a critically reflective approach.

An important aspect of teacher education consists of on-site training (VFU), whereby the student works with an established teacher at a given school, and thereby tests and develops his/her knowledge for longer periods. During on-site training, students receive visits from HSD’s teacher educators, who aid and assess their progress, thus creating a basis for reflection. Tripartite talks between the student, a teacher educator, and a school supervisor provide an opportunity for students to discuss interesting questions and further develop their educational skills. Apart from these periods of on-site training, our teacher training program is campus-based, and requires active student participation in lectures, study visits, and seminars.